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Iron Maiden - The Final Frontier CD (album) cover


Iron Maiden


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3.60 | 454 ratings

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Luis de Sousa
4 stars Overall feel after 4 listens: the best LP with the 3 guitarists. Excellent production resulting in a very cohesive sound but at the same a rich record with plenty of twists and turns. Tempo changes, melodic incursions and varied vocalizations bring up a record that's quite pleasant to listen throughout; you never know were each song will lead you.

Personally, "A Matter of Life and Death" was a bit of a disappointment, while continuing the trend towards more complex compositions it had some songs that drag for too long without adding much of new, respecting some well defined formulas. Simply put, it was a record that was hard to listen from start to finish. "The Final Frontier", though longer, completely deals away with this problem, presenting a varied menu that slowly builds into a strong set. This is partly due to a clever track disposition, where shorter songs lead the way to the core of the LP in its later stages.

In terms of composition the band went through paths that were somewhat trailed previously with songs like "Lord Of Light". There are several moments where this record would easily pass for someone else's LP, weren't it for Dickinson's distinctive vocals. The minimal clean melodies that were the hallmark of the Gers/Harris years are almost completely absent, with Smith bringing different guitar work more reliant on complex riffs. Beyond that there's an overall "tranquillity" to this LP that is both unusual and pleasant; while previous records often transmitted moments of anxiety, in "The Final Frontier" each song has plenty of room to grow and transit from the introspective to the cavalcade and back, each tempo twist fells smooth and timely.

So far no real weak songs to point out; yes, even the overture is worthy with its completely un-Maidenesque intro. "Starblind" and "The Man Who Would Be King" are the highlights, where the band adventures further way for its traditional formulas.

On the negative side, this LP may have little to offer to old time fans waiting for 4 minutes sing-a-long mini-symph songs. But that's a characteristic of progressive music, it progresses.

More after a few more listens.

Luis de Sousa | 4/5 |


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